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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You Can Eat at Nice Restaurants, Or Have Children. Pick One.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

click to enlarge Dinner for six - FLICKR/KIM+5
  • Flickr/Kim+5
  • Dinner for six

The Chronicle this morning posted a web piece that picks up where everyone left off in the battle of San Francisco vs. Children.

We're pretty sure the post, penned by the Chron's food writer, Michael Bauer, wasn't meant to be humorous, but hell, we always have a good laugh when we read about First World problems like these.

The post details a San Francisco family's experience trying to dine out with their 4-month-old baby in a stroller. But if it accomplished anything, it was proving that San Francisco just doesn't love kids.

Here's a snippet of the email the diners wrote to Bauer:

The bottom line is that someone who I think was the manager refused our party service, in part because of the baby stroller. We arrived at the restaurant at roughly 6:15 pm, and put our names on the list (party of 4 plus baby stroller). Upon doing a quick scan of the restaurant, which we realized had limited seating options, my friend (the baby's mom) had informed the wait staff [sic] that she had a stroller and specifically noted that only one table looked like it would accommodate the stroller, out of harm's and traffic's way. This table is adjacent to the door and a convenient little alcove. The wait staff [sic, again] told her that it was no problem and that they would be able to accommodate the stroller.

After waiting about 35 minutes, the staff called a party of 3 who had actually arrived after us. This party of 3 was seated at the only table that would accommodate a baby stroller. Shortly thereafter, our names were called. It was clear that the table would not be able to accommodate the stroller. The manager suggested that we order food to go. As an accommodation, I believe she also suggested that the mom either hold the baby while eating or put the main baby compartment with the baby in it on the floor.

Realizing that none of our options were viable, my husband asked the table of 3 if they would consider swapping tables with us in light of the baby stroller. They agreed to move. We sat down at our respective tables, and the manager came to our table telling us that she had decided not to serve us that night. She said it was inappropriate for us to approach another table. We told her we were particularly appalled because her wait staff [sic once again] knew early on that we had a stroller. The manager claims that the party of 3 was irritated that they had to move.

The disturbed diner then posits the question: Who was in the wrong? Bauer made it pretty darn clear that the restaurant was behaving badly in that Stanley Roberts sorta way; however, he punted this one to the readers, who, being the anti-kid citizens we are, dog-piled the parents. Now, of the 300-plus comments, not all of them were slamming the parents, but a majority of them were. Click on the comments to read the large print:

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Now might be a good time to read our story detailing the 5 reasons it's better to have a dog than a kid

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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